The Presiding Judge, Akure Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Kiyersohot Damulak has declared the withdrawal of Olutayo David’s appointment as deputy bursar of the Federal University of Technology Akure as unlawful, null and void; ordered her restoration with payment of salaries commensurate to her level from the date of her appointment 2019 as required by the scheme of service with 400,000 costs of the action.
The Court held that the University cannot withdraw Olutayo’s appointment on the basis that she was appointed based on the university advertisement requiring 12 years working experience in the University system rather than 12 years post qualification experience as stated in the Institution scheme of service that the University cannot benefit from their wrong.
From facts, the claimant- Olutayo David’s had submitted that she was given a letter of appointment as deputy bursar dated 2/5/2019 that since the appointment, her salary (commensurate to the new appointment) as well as some other persons who were appointed at the same time, were directed to be put on hold by the Vice-Chancellor, who investigated the appointments that two separate panels found that her appointment met all extant requirements.
Further that on 29th September 2019 her appointment was withdrawn after she had approached the Court to enforce the payment of her outstanding entitlements as a Deputy Bursar, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.
In defense, the University claimed that Olutayo David’s was not qualified for the post of deputy bursar going by the scheme of service that the job advertisement violated the provisions of the scheme of service and the Council had no option but to exercise its general control power over the irregular appointment to avoid consequential sanction from relevant supervisory agencies.
The defendants filed an objection asked the court to strike out the suit for want of jurisdiction on the ground that the suit was filed outside the statutory period of limitation.
In opposition, the claimant counsel, Esho Victor Esq averred that Olutayo’s having accepted the position of Deputy Bursar in the University is entitled to her salary as appointed and to retain the position since the Defendants had offered her the position that no polluted hand shall be allowed to touch the pure fountain of justice.
Delivering the judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Kiyersohot Damulak dismissed the objection for lacking merit and held that the claimant was not expected to investigate and establish evidence of approval before applying for the post or accepting the appointment.
The Court further held that the alleged violation of the scheme of service by replacing 12 years post qualification experience with 12 years working experience within the University system by the 4th defendant itself is inconsequential in the circumstance.
“I agree with the claimant’s counsel submission that the scheme of service is a reasonable guide and not an iron-cast rule of law, like the Constitution or an Act that requires legislative amendment before the council can make the slightest variation therefrom, as the council has done in this case.
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